British Parliament to Vote on Brexit Amendments


French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said the Brexit deal was "not renegotiable".

Sterling against the dollar (GBPUSD=X) fell again on Monday, ahead of United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May's next push to get her Brexit deal through parliament after a devastating defeat a couple of weeks ago.

Even so, Brandon Lewis, the chairman of May's Tory party, said he is "very optimistic and hopeful" that his colleagues will get behind the new backstop-killing amendment.

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"We were prepared to compromise on the Withdrawal Agreement, it's got faults, but we would compromise".

Strong support for the amendment will allow May to demonstrate to the European Union that changes to the backstop could be enough to allow her to get parliamentary approval for a deal.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox says the government supports an amendment that rejects the so-called backstop that could keep Britain in a customs union with the EU to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Brexit Votes Leave Pound Lower Dow and Dollar Ready for Fed
May will seek to reopen Brexit divorce deal

MPs also rejected by 327 votes to 296 an amendment by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanding parliamentary time to vote on how "no deal" might be avoided.

A second amendment tabled by the Scottish National Party, which called on the Government to rule out no-deal and extend the two-year Article 50 negotiation process, was defeated by 327 votes to 39, as Labour abstained.

Downing Street said the PM remains committed to quitting the European Union on March 29 and will take her plan back to the Commons for a second "meaningful vote" as soon as possible after Tuesday's debate, whether or not she secures more concessions from Brussels. They view it as the only way of ensuring there is never a hard border on the island, an essential part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended decades of sectarian violence.

There was no announcement from Labour over whether it will officially back a cross-party amendment put forward by the party's Yvette Cooper and Conservative Nick Boles aimed at stopping a no-deal exit and delaying the date of Brexit until the end of the year.

The crux of the deal is an extension to the current transition period - possibly to December 2021 - to give the United Kingdom more time to negotiate a free trade deal with the bloc.

"With the Conservative party finally uniting behind Theresa May, reducing general election risks, we see such negative tail risk scenarios as still unlikely to play out", said Mohammed Kazmi, a portfolio manager at UBP in Geneva. It would tie Northern Ireland with the European Union and keep the rest of Britain in a customs arrangement to provide for the free movement of goods.

But Sarah Wollaston, a pro-EU Conservative, dismissed the plan as "fantasy Brexit".

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WhatsApp discussions between politicians, including leading Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg and Pro-EU Nicky Morgan, were made public Monday on night and confirmed by the two sides.

European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, has told MEPs on the committee that any extension of Article 50 would "make things more difficult". At that point if there was still no trade deal, the backstop would kick in. "Today we need to send an emphatic message about what we do want".

'I don't think the PM has a plan now to sort this out, ' she added.

"The Brady amendment will still fail, but by a much smaller margin than the original bill, which will give her something to go back to Europe with", said RBC's Cole. Brexit means possible new checks along the border and a bombing this month by a new anti-British group has raised fears of a return to violence. Many Conservative MPs and the DUP have rejected the draft deal.

What's the problem with the Irish backstop?

Amendment J urges the government to postpone Brexit deadline if a deal is not backed by the parliament by February 26.

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